To Aru Kagaku no Railgun is an anime I highly anticipated when it was first came out. Set in an advanced world, the anime centers around the lives of espers, people with various superpowers. Misaka Mikoto and Kuroko Shirai are two top level espers in Academy City. As an affiliate and a member of Judgment, the two fight with their friends to keep the city safe.
Superpower premises are always fun. In guessing what abilities each character has or imagining ways to best utilize such abilities, the audience has endless ways of immersing themselves in the world. Railgun furthers this experience with smooth, stunning animation. I was really impressed with some of the action scenes involving the espers. Moreover, the animation is flawless even down to the minutiae. For example, when Mikoto performs a violin solo, the bow strokes actually matched the music. This rarely happens in other anime. This attention to detail also creates a gorgeous world. From the crepes to the flower arrangements, everything is presented beautifully. I really felt as if I lived in Academy City.
Of course, one cannot talk about a superpower show without delving into superheroes. This is where I think To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, with its strong cast, really excelled. From the powerful level 5 Misaka to the responsible level 0 Saten-san, everyone has a distinct personality. Indeed, the girls in Railgun have their endearing traits and their frustrating weaknesses. For example, Uiharu often loses sight of the big picture and is prone to panic. Saten is insecure about her expectations. And Misaka, while endlessly cute in her short shorts, can be too recklessly emotional as well as blindly self-righteous. Their immaturity adds another dimension to each character, and reminds us that, despite their powers, the girls are just adorable middle school children trying to do their best. Yet, it does beg the question: Why are such young kids given such heavy responsibilities?
Perhaps the answer lies in Kuroko, who has the most layered and profound personality in the series. Under all the the sexual comedy is a mature woman, far keener than her peers, and more than capable of handling her powers. She excels at her responsibilities in Judgment and understands the limitations of her abilities. She reacts to disasters with composure and approaches problems analytically. At the same time, Kuroko is sharply aware of relationships and group dynamics. Even in love, she seems to have a more mature understanding and better sense than others, including her dorm room teacher. Kuroko really drew me in with her many sides, including her sex-craze façade.
I have to admit though that I am biased toward Kuroko. Indeed, I liked her in the beginning because of her questionably charming voice and her yuri tendencies. Still, I have realized that her character is much more than that. I would even suggest that, in addition to all the other things that make the series great, Kuroko makes Railgun excellent.
Besides, it is always fun to see all the yuri doujins featuring Kuroko x Misaka.
P.S. There are plenty of other yuri pairs that are super cute too.
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